Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eradicating this...

This subject is completely fascinating to me and has totally captivated my interests over the past few years, and more and more recently...especially after being in Africa and seeing it all first hand for three months when I was with ywam.

The challenge of ridding the earth of poverty.

Did you know that over the past 30 years we (developed nations) have dumped over 80 billion dollars into the continent of Africa and yet much of its nations are no better off than they were before...

With child mortality rates sky high and lack of drinking water, education and jobs scarce...

How is this possible??????

Let me propose to you dear reader, as the authors of the book below have suggested is because we as nations are going about poverty alleviation in the wrong way. We "westerners" see the root of the problem as one thing when they who are living mired up to their necks in it see the root of it as an entirely different thing.

We tend to define poverty as a material lack. When one African man was asked by the authors, he told them it was a psychological, emotional lack that stretched it's ugly fingers into every other area of their psyche rendering them unable to rise out of their want.

In short, they see themselves as having little worth, unable to lift their heads up in their society because they can't provide for their families, which in turn hinders their self esteem and drive to get out their and find work, and by taking hand outs with little else offered, often, just perpetuates the cycle.

Lots more interesting, eye opening stuff in their...I would strongly recommend everyone getting the book and reading it.
When Helping Hurts
I believe especially as Christians, we should stand up and take notice of this gaping, persistent problem. You know, we call ourselves "Jesus followers" but then turn around and conveniently forget about a major concern of our God as seen all throughout His words to us in the Bible, that of helping those who are lost and dying, helpless and weak. It talked about EVERYWHERE in there...

They are our brothers and sisters...

We storm around with a self-righteous frown upon our face and have the audacity to say, "God, how could you do nothing for these people who are starving and dying every day?"

And He replies, "I have. I've sent you. Go, be my hands and feet in this world."

Wow. God forgive me for being so consumed with my own self that I neglect to do this. I neglect to care and pray for, and lend my time and treasure to those who are in need all around me here in this country and abroad. 

This book has rocked my world and challenged all of my before held beliefs on the subject of how to effectively help bring people out of poverty and what the root problems are:

So I totally think you should check this book out. :)

How can we stand and do nothing, when it is in our power to act?

Ponder that one for awhile.
I know I am.

Also, this documentary at this link below looks really good and I am really interested in seeing it:

Isaiah 58:6-14 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”


  1. This was such a beautifully written and convicting post. It really is all about perspective isn't it? Crazy that I complain about all the things that I have to do regarding school, when in certain places children long to go to school but can't afford it at $3 a month. Definitely things that make you think.

  2. Wow. Yes exactly. It is a perspective shift that we need. And sadly, I forget so easily. I am praying God helps me keep the issues of His heart at the forefront of my own constantly from now on. Thank you for sharing! :)


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